"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feeling Blue

We English speakers have such an odd language, and yes, you Brits and Aussies are included.  It's not like I don't read your stuff and there certainly are plenty of you in the United States.  No worries mate, unless you are here to tell us how much better it is in your home country.  We almost speak the same language.  I do get a kick out of our differing names for things.

Blue is usually such a pretty color.  Most of the time, when there are no clouds, the sky is blue.  Where did we get the phrase, "feeling blue?"  As my RN wife could tell you, if you are really blue, you got a lot more problems than a case of sadness.

Yesterday, because the rain just never let up, everything was soggy, the backyard maintained a depth of about two inches, constantly fed by the water cascading down the mountainside. When the back yard can hold no more, multiple little creeks crossed the yard and on both sides of the gravel driveway, on the way down to the road and on to the real creek, now so full and rushing so furiously that it looks like rapids.

Twyla and I talked a bit about how oppressive it seems after 48 hours.  Ah, we humans.  The weather constantly gives us wonderful variety, yet we kvetch about it. The slowly encroaching static and statist condition that is far from our skin, but threatens to enslave us, we ignore.  If you haven't noticed yet, I digress a lot.

The poor chickens are having to tromp around in the muck.  Nothing I can do about it.  I try to keep the pen for the little chicks covered as much as possible with the plastic sheeting, but that can't keep the water from flowing underneath, and at times the sudden gusts of wind can blow the plastic off, even with twenty pound pieces of granite on top.

I chopped up some broccoli and cabbage leaves and picked some lettuce to hand feed the chickens.  If I just put it in a bowl or plate, they would have scratched a bunch of it into the mud and ruined it.  Except for looking at how well my vegetables are doing, the sight outside was a bit depressing.

Twyla was in town most of the day running errands.  Except for a little time spent outside between waves of rain, my time inside was split up by many things. Research for a fisking of Mr. Mark Ames.  Pureeing of soft cooked chicken and turkey bones for dog food. Grinding of several grains to make a couple of loaves of bread. Tending to seedlings in the greenhouse/porch. Glancing at the radar loop that showed a line of thundershowers from Pensacola up through Boone, NC.  Gotta learn how to get those screen shots.

I've had too many things happen to me throughout my life to prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that there are no coincidences.  I mean amazing things.  Some of them were really hard to live through and deal with.  So I try to look for the good in whatever circumstances I'm in.  Am I always successful?  Oh, no.  But I keep trying.  And yesterday I found myself kvetching about the weather, even though I know that "this too, shall pass."

Unfortunately, some people can't remember that.  Last night, as Twyla and I lay in bed watching a somewhat inspirational movie, "Hachi," a call came.  Someone we hadn't talked to in months.  A friend is dead.  Shot himself.

I don't know whether to be more saddened or grateful that he was not much more than a good acquaintance. Like someone at work whom you get along great with, but you just don't have much interaction with.  And as life is just so much irony, he didn't seem like the type to do it.  Retired, seemingly well-off, with a nice house up here in God's country.  Kids he seemed to be proud of and who seemed to love him.  A sweet and pretty wife who doted on him.

But he'd suffered a stroke several months back that left him very lame on one side.  Having been a very active man, I guess he just got tired of feeling like an invalid, feeling useless.  Nothing grates at a real man more than feeling useless.  Ergo, you won't find me criticizing him for what he did.  My Master and Savior knows how many times I have come very close to the same conclusion, but His grace intervened.

I would not normally use this blog to pick on a particular sect of Christianity, even though being a follower of the Messiah and one who studies the Scripture carefully gives me every right to point out error and correct it. The idea that my friend is in hell because of this particular choice he made is a bit angering.  It would be silly to be angry about something you know isn't true.  What angers me is the anguish it creates in the hearts of the surviving loved ones.  I find it silly to believe that the Jews at Masada, who drew lots to decide who slew which families and then each other, rather than be taken by the Romans, would then be assigned to eternal punishment.  The same goes for the thousands of Jews in the Polish ghetto or in the concentration camps during Hitler's holocaust.  Scripture tells me that King Saul fell on his own sword after being wounded, but that he was then "gathered to his people."

I believe there is a hell, alright. Not because I want to, but because the only man who ever raised other people from the dead and then Himself said that it's a fact.   But I believe the only people there are the ones who wanted to go there; who chose great evil over the mercy of their Creator.  Who they are and why I cannot know until I get to the other side.  Until then, I'll not waste time trying to judge that issue.  There's a lot of other things that need to be judged that I can actually do something about.

I'm grateful to my now departed friend for making me aware of how much I have to be grateful for.


  1. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Moses. I happen to love the rain, and have often wondered if living in a place like Oregon would change that for me.

    The issue of suicide is quite hazy for me. I prefer to speak to only what I truly can, which is the sadness and tragedy of it. Their soul is in God's hands, as are we all. What is determined from there I do not know.

    What I find troublesome is when someone dies and the automatic response is that they are in a better place. My great-Aunt lived a quiet life, never married, but was involved in an extra-marital affair for years, never went to church nor accepted Christ as her Savior (that I know of), yet I heard the oft-quoted, "she's in a better place now." I don't mean to sound harsh, but based upon what?

    Jesus seems to either be divorced from the equation or presumed upon.

  2. So true, Shyla, so true. Welcome to my blog.


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